Jump in With Both Hands and Feet

Andy Stanley, in Visioneering: God’s Blueprint for Developing and Maintaining Vision (a fantastic book, by the way):

If God has birthed a vision in your heart, the day will come when you will be called upon to make a sacrifice to achieve it. And you will have to make the sacrifice with no guarantee of success.

I talk to people all the time who have what seem to be “God ideas” but who are unwilling to commit with both hands and feet. The conversation often begins with, “If I had a million dollars.”

A well-meaning lady once said to me, “You know, I am so burdened by the problems in the inner city. If I had a million dollars, I would love to go down there and start a school for underprivileged kids.”

As sensitively as I knew how, I said, “I know people with far less than you have now who have started schools for inner-city kids. You don’t need a million dollars to start a school.” What she needed was the courage to act on her vision.

The difference between those with a burden for inner-city kids and those who actually do something is not resources. It is a willingness to take risks and make sacrifices. The people who make a difference in this world commit to what could be before they know where the money is coming from. Their vision is enough to cause them to jump in. Money usually follows vision. It rarely happens the other way around. Consequently, vision always involves sacrifice and risk-taking.

  • http://www.compete4christ.blogspot.com Kurt Earl

    In many ways the approach to pursuing vision portrayed here is in direct conflict with the approach outlined by Jon Acuff in “Quitter”. How do we balance stepping out in faith with being responsible and not dangerous?

  • http://www.lifeofasteward.com Loren Pinilis

    You’ve hit on a million dollar question with no simple answer.
    I think the key is to divorce ourselves as much as possible from selfish ambition. Jumping into our dreams can often just be us pursuing our own feelings of accomplishment and self-satisfaction. Likewise, we can tell ourselves we are merely being good stewards when our true motivation is fear and the love of comfort or security.

  • Matt

    Agreed–great question.

    I think Jon Acuff gives good advice in Quitter. So I do affirm what he is saying there.

    I think one key is realizing that jumping in and fully committing doesn’t necessarily mean quitting what you are currently doing right away. There can be a period of overlap.

    In the example above, the person shouldn’t have had the attitude of “I’d do this if I ever had a ton of extra money one day,” if she was really passionate about starting a school. Rather, she should start and go for it.

    However, in the early stages that might mean doing the foundational legwork that is possible to do at night or on weekends, while continuing in her present job. The money to do the vision comes as a result of the vision, but that doesn’t mean you necessarily quit your current job before the money is there. Sometimes it might mean that, but in general I think a period of overlap is a good idea, and brings together both what Acuff is saying and the point here.

    Another part of the resolution is that, once you’ve decided it is the right time to move out from what you are currently doing to doing the next thing full time, you do so with “both hands and feet.” You don’t jump half way.

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